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Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The State Department announced Tuesday that it has designated five Chinese state media outlets as "foreign missions," meaning that they will be treated as arms of the Chinese government.

Driving the news: In his first public statement on the new designation, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells Axios that the five outlets are "clearly controlled by the [Chinese Communist Party], and we are simply recognizing that fact by taking this action.”

Why it matters: This marks the latest move by the Trump administration to pressure the Chinese government by applying similar restrictions on Chinese entities in the United States as Beijing places on American organizations in China.

  • The label applies to the U.S.-based operations of five Chinese state-funded news outlets — Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corp., and Hai Tian Development USA.

What he's saying: “We are determined to treat China as it is, not as what we want it to be. In China, all media works for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as General Secretary Xi Jinping has explicitly stated," Pompeo said in a statement provided to Axios.

  • "Since these organizations work for the CCP, it is only fitting that we treat them as foreign missions, meaning they are subject to State Department regulation."
  • "This action is long overdue. For years, these so-called media outlets have been mouthpieces of the Chinese Communist Party and these Chinese outlets are becoming more aggressive."

Details: The label "foreign mission" triggers certain disclosure requirements. The designation falls under the Foreign Missions Act of 1982, which defines a foreign mission as an entity that is “substantially owned or effectively controlled” by a foreign government.

  • The Chinese media outlets will now have to provide personnel rosters and information about their U.S. real estate holdings to the State Department.

The big picture: A stated purpose of the Foreign Missions Act is to use reciprocity to "ensure equitable treatment" for U.S. personnel abroad, a principle that the Trump administration has repeatedly emphasized in its approach to the U.S.-China relationship.

  • In October 2019, for example, the State Department issued a new rule requiring Chinese diplomats to file notifications with the department before meeting with universities, research institutions or government officials below the federal level.

The new designation is explicitly intended to move toward reciprocity.

  • "These propaganda organs operate freely within the open American system, while journalists inside of China face massive restrictions," said Pompeo. "We hope that the Chinese Communist Party will reconsider its treatment of journalists inside of China."

Go deeper: U.S. expelled Chinese Embassy officials for trespassing on military base

Go deeper

FAA clears more planes after 5G fears

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday it had approved nearly 80% of the U.S. commercial fleet to perform low-visibility landings at airports with new 5G services after fears of signal interference limited 5G rollout.

Why it matters: The FAA approvals will help provide more certainty after the agency raised fears that 5G signals could reduce the accuracy of certain equipment, known as radio altimeters, that helps planes land and take off in inclement weather.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Peloton stock tanks on report of production halt

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Peloton stock fell by as much as 25% on Thursday, following a CNBC report that the connected fitness company will temporarily halt production on its bikes and treadmills.

Why it matters: Peloton is viewed by many as a proxy for consumer behavior in the pandemic era, as its popularity surged when gyms closed and people wanted to exercise at home.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker